From producers Trevor Beattie Films and StudioPOW, the film will tell the story of the visionary music manager and impresario who was often referred to as the ‘Fifth Beatle’. He took the music industry by storm at the tender age of 25 and for seven years had a tumultuous and dazzling career. Among his other discoveries were Gerry And The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Billy J Kramer and he opened his own theater to promote the likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Cream and Pink Floyd. Epstein’s rise was tragically cut short when he died of a drug overdose aged only 32.
The original screenplay comes from Brigit Grant and Jonathan Wakeham. Mister Smith Entertainment is handling international sales. The plan is to shoot the film in London, Liverpool and the United States for release in 2021.
Akerlund is well known for directing the music videos for Paul McCartney, Madonna, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Blondie and Taylor Swift, among others. The Swedish director will also put together the film’s soundtrack.
Peter Dunne and Mark Borkowski are executive producers. Twickenham Studios Chairman Sunny Vohra and managing partner Jeremy Rainbird will also serve as execs. The film is being produced in association with Er Dong Pictures, which will be distributing the film in China and providing finance. Casting director is Dan Hubbard.
Akerlund said: “Brian Epstein’s story has everything I’m looking for in a story…. it’s all about Brian’s singularity for me. I love that Brian seemed to know every step of the way what no one else knew, he saw things that no one else saw. His vision was astonishing, he created a culture that didn’t exist. The film is more like touring Brian’s mind and what it was like to be him than how one thing led to another chronologically. I want to bring him back to life.”
Producer Trevor Beattie added: “Brian Epstein lived an epic life. He was a remarkable man whose life’s work was to make others more remarkable. Jonas Akerlund is the perfect director for Midas Man. He has a rock & roll heart. Jonas understands music and the music industry. He has spent years wrangling a lot of Brian Epstein wannabes and now he gets to bring the original Star Maker back to life.”